Where’s Your Food From? Use Barcodes to Find Out!

Is the food you’re eating your safe? Check the barcode to see where it’s from, as food regulations vary by country.

Perhaps the 90’s band, Barenaked Ladies, was onto something with their famed lyrics, “Chickity China the Chinese chicken. You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin’.” While your brain may not literally stop ticking, since there are no food inspections for foods grown or processed in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam or Thailand, who knows what that chicken could do to you.

Photos were released depicting how chickens in China are slaughtered for consumption. Most of the time, food products will not say, “Made in China,” so how can you tell where your chicken, and other food is coming from?

The barcode! Even if the product doesn’t verbally specify where it originated, each country is assigned a country of origin code, which is always the first three digits of a barcode. For example, products made in the USA have barcodes beginning with 000-019, but beware of barcodes that start with 690-695, meaning they products are made in China.

For a full list of product codes, visit the GS1. And next time you’re in the grocery store, beware of “Chickity China, the Chinese chicken.”